For the last two years, I have taken part in a daily gratitude challenge – sharing one photo a day on Instagram of something I am grateful for. It’s taught me to look for the little things and has made me a more positive person. It has not always been easy to find something to be grateful for each day though. This past couple of weeks have been particularly tough, riding the huge rollercoaster of emotions that comes with grief, after the loss of my beautiful daughter Jessica.
One of Jessica’s godmothers once described her as a “joy carrier”. It was, and still is, such a wonderful description. She might have only had half a heart, but it overflowed with love and she brought sunshine to all who knew her. She taught me how to be strong, how to live each day to the full and how to find joy in the challenging moments. I continue with this challenge each day in honour of her.
Day 112 – I am grateful for the love and support of my church family. This morning we lit candles as part of our prayers of intercession. Coming forward to light a candle for Jessica was so very emotional. It reminded me of all those times I lit a candle in the hospital chapel as I waited for her to come through her surgeries. Miss her so very much.
Day 113 – I am grateful that Sophie had fun with Daddy at the park this afternoon.
Day 114 – I am grateful for the opportunity to go back to Ocean Ward today and chat to Jessica’s consultant, surgeon and the cardiac liaison nurses. We still don’t have any answers as to why Jessica died so suddenly but it was reassuring to know that we did do the right things in the last few weeks of her life and didn’t miss any crucial signs. Jessica’s passing was so sudden and unexpected that it is likely the outcome would have been the same even if we’d been in hospital. Hard though it is to lose her, at least her last moments were at home, snuggled with us where she felt safest and being surrounded by love. It was also lovely today to spend time with close friends and share happy memories of our beautiful Jessica as well as watching Sophie having fun too.
Day 115 – I am grateful for the little thoughtful gifts we have received for Sophie over the last week or so. She loved her angel ‘Jessica Bunny’ that arrived for her today and all the other little gifts she has received that are helping her to remember Jessica as well as helping her through the moments of missing her big sister.
Day 116 – I am grateful that Sophie was kept entertained when we popped into work this evening.
Day 117 – I am grateful for the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the Land of the Tiger at Chessington before it opens. Sophie is looking forward to her sleepover at the “Gruffalo hotel” tonight. We’re having a fun evening but I can’t help thinking of the last time we were here with Jessica and the fact that she would have absolutely loved this. Miss my big girl so much.
Day 118 – I am grateful that this little tiger had fun seeing the tigers in Land of the Tiger and watching Daddy get to try out the new Tiger Rock ride at Chessington today.